In the 1940s, Middleweight Champion Tony Zale
seemingly had it all. Battling colorful Rocky Graziano
in The Ring magazine’s Fights of the Year
in 1946 and 1947, "The Man of Steel" from Gary, Indiana,
convincingly defeated him in their third and final
contest in 1948. These fights are acknowledged as among
the most exciting trilogies in boxing history.
Becoming world champion was an amazing feat for Tony. Traveling through life feeling responsible for
the accident which killed his father when he was two years old, Tony became a shy and withdrawn young boy.
As a result of the boxing influence of his older brothers, however, he discovered a way out of his introversion
and shyness by proving himself in the ring.
tony touched the lives of countless young people after
his retirement from the world of professional boxing.
tony was appointed as the head coach to both the
Chicago Catholic Youth Organization boxing program as
well as the Chicago Parks Department boxing program.
As a result, this soft-spoken champion has become nearly as
well-known and admired for his contributions to the lives of others as he had been for the remarkable courage and
fortitude he exhibited during his boxing career.
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please enjoy the photos below.
This beautiful championship belt was on display at the IBHOF museum until November 5th when both of Tony's championship belts were stolen from their display case. Tony won this belt for his win over Al Hostak in 1941.
Tony's championship belts were proudly displayed at the entrance of the International Boxing Hall of Fame located in Canastota, NY, just outside of Syracuse. He has three belts, but the whereabouts of the third belt is unknown. Unfortunately, on November 5, 2015, there was a 3 am break-in at the IBHOF museum which resulted in the theft of these two championship belts seen here. Along with these belts, four belts from champion Carmen Basilio that were also on display were stolen as well. We are hopeful that someday these belts will be returned to the families.